Social Science: We Can't Let Men And Women Be Happy
One of the best conversations of the week here at Ricochet has been over on the Member feed ("On The Developing Manvolution") where we're discussing how the fate of men is related to the culture in general.
It reminded me of this abstract of a study highlighted by Charles Murray over at AEI. The study is about how "benevolent sexism" (aka gentlemanly behavior) makes both sexes happy. Because it's a sociological study being written in the alt-universe known as academia, the authors of the study end by saying it must be stopped. Really:
Previous research suggests that benevolent sexism is an ideology that perpetuates gender inequality. But despite its negative consequences, benevolent sexism is a prevalent ideology that some even find attractive. To better understand why women and men alike might be motivated to adopt benevolent sexism, the current study tested system justification theory’s prediction that benevolent sexism might have a positive linkage to life satisfaction through increased diffuse system justification, or the sense that the status quo is fair. A structural equation model revealed that benevolent sexism was positively associated with diffuse systemjustification within a sample of 274 college women and 111 college men. Additionally,benevolent sexism was indirectly associated with life satisfaction for both women and men through diffuse system justification. In contrast, hostile sexism was not related to diffuse system justification or life satisfaction. The results imply that although benevolent sexism perpetuates inequality at the structural level, it might offer some benefits at the personal level. Thus, our findings reinforce the dangerous nature of benevolent sexism and emphasize the need for interventions to reduce its prevalence.
I love it. Murray asks:
When social scientists discover something that increases life satisfaction for both sexes, shouldn’t they at least consider the possibility that they have come across something that is positive? Healthy? Something that might even conceivably be grounded in the nature of Homo sapiens?
Crazy talk! But what I want to know is what "interventions" the study's authors support. Some type of regulation on etiquette?
Photo of gentleman via Shutterstock.